Ever since Instagram dropped the reverse chronological system of show content in users’ feeds, there has been a lot of curiosity and confusion regarding how Instagram decides how to customize every user’s feed according to his interests and behavior on Instagram. To most people, the way Instagram’s algorithm now works is mysterious. However, businesses need to understand it well so that they can proactively customize their content strategy for the best impact. The most important factors acting to influence its algorithm, according to Instagram, are interest, relationship, timeliness, frequency, following, and usage. A brief examination of these factors:
Table of Contents
You would be off the mark if you think that your Instagram feed depends on only the accounts you follow. The truth is that it also features content from the posts you have liked and engaged with earlier as well as the subject of those posts. If the algorithm thinks that you prefer seeing and interacting with a certain kind of post, it will promote it higher in your feed. Essentially, what appears in your Instagram feed is an aggregate of what you do on Instagram. It includes the accounts; you most often interact with, the people you are tagged in Instagram photos and the kind of posts that you engage with the most. It is for this reason posting consistently on Instagram is vital. It not only gives more opportunities to your audience to see and interact with your content but also sends positive signals to the algorithm. If you buy likes on Ig, you will also get the advantage of a snowball effect from other followers.
The Instagram algorithm is programmed to give more importance to posts from accounts you care about the most, typically by your family and friends. The only way Instagram can figure out what is important to you is to analyze your interactions with various accounts on Instagram to figure out how connected you are to them. The factors the algorithm uses include the accounts whose content you engage with the most, accounts you send DMs, people your search for, and people who are connected with you in real life. Instagram tries to understand the extent of the relationship when you follow an account by serving content drawn from it and tracking how you engage with it.
In addition to the algorithm factoring in the extent of engagement your Instagram posts receive; it also sees how long back the photo was posted. It is important because Instagram always attempts to serve its users content that is not only interesting but also recent. If you can research and find out the best time to post your content on Instagram, you may be in a position to work the algorithm to your advantage and get more visibility and engagement. Using a post scheduler can help you to post at the right times without having to remember to do it manually. The top varieties allow users to view scheduled posts on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis, according to a report in Forbes.
The algorithm also tracks how frequently you open and use Instagram. If you launch it frequently, you increase the chances of your feed appearing more chronological since the algorithm is geared to show you the most relevant posts since you last visited. However, if you open Instagram less often, the content will pile up, forcing Instagram to sort the posts out according to what it thinks you will be more interested in. The chronological sequence of the posts will then get lost.
The number of people you follow on Instagram is a crucial element of what content you will see in your feed. If you follow many accounts, Instagram has much more content to choose from, so, likely, you will not see all the content posted by each account in your feed. Even if that does not seem particularly worrisome, if you take the concept one step further, it could very well mean that the algorithm would also systematically remove inactive followers from your account. If there are many inactive followers, the algorithm will conclude that your posts are not relevant or interesting and hence drive your account down in its ranking, observes a consultant at Iigers, a top-rated social media marketing agency. You must, therefore, make every effort to post content that is relevant, interesting, entertaining, original, and value-added, so that it receives more engagement that in turn sends out positive ranking signals.
If you spend more time on Instagram, you will see more content as Instagram will fetch them from its catalog. It is also possible that if you spend enough time scrolling through your feed, you may run out of viewable content. It will signal to the algorithm to pull up more content from other accounts based on what it thinks you will find relevant and interesting based on your previous interactions. However, if you spend only a short time every day on Instagram, the algorithm will serve you only the top posts of the day.
Now that you know how it works, instead of fighting the Instagram algorithm, you can turn the knowledge into an advantage for your account. Among the best ways of improving your algorithmic ranking is to drive maximum engagement by posting content that acts as a magnet for likes, comments, shares, saves, and DMs. If your posts prove popular, the Instagram algorithm will kick in and start showing them to new audiences. Also, if you use the latest features of Instagram, you can take advantage of the fact that Instagram generally tries to promote them, which will give your posts extra visibility. Using Instagram Stories stickers is also effective for encouraging engagement, and as is well known, Instagram favors content that receives high interaction and engagement. While there are many options for stickers, some of the most popular for boosting engagement are polls, emojis, and question stickers. These stickers work well with virtually any brand or business you can think of. Even though Instagram is focused on images, including value-added and engaging captions and comments is effective in giving the feed ranking a boost.